Thoughts from the Cowden Foundation GVHD Symposium

 

Last Friday I attended the Cowden Foundation GVHD Symposium in Cleveland, Ohio.  Oncology Researchers, Physicians, Nurses, Bone Marrow Transplant Survivors and Caregivers/Families participated in this highly informative event. Both professionals and lay people sat together and learned about the most current research in the field of Graft Vs. Host Disease (GVHD), a sometimes life threatening, often debilitating condition, that occurs following a life saving Bone Marrow Transplant.

The day was one filled with mixed emotions.

I was:

Gratified to learn of new research on the horizon;

Irritated by the lack of funding available for such a rare condition;

Grief stricken by the parents who lost their child to life threatening effects of GVHD;

Emotionally charged seeing young and old survivors trying to create meaning to their “new me”,

and

Supportive of  Christy, a young woman bravely preparing for her own Bone Marrow Transplant.

DON’T GIVE UP!

Thank you Cowden Family for their vision to promote GVHD Research!!!

Christy with her Glittered Stripe!!!